Welcome to the Misadventures of Widowhood blog!

In January of 2012 my soul mate of 42 years passed away after nearly 12 years of living with severe disabilities due to a stroke. I survived the first year after Don’s death doing what most widows do---trying to make sense of my world turned upside down. The pain and heartache of loss, my dark humor, my sweetest memories and, yes, even my pity parties are well documented in this blog.

Now that I’m a "seasoned widow" the focus of my writing has changed. I’m still a widow looking through that lens but I’m also a woman searching for contentment, friends and a voice in my restless world. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor that shows up from time to time in this blog. Others say I make some keen observations about life and growing older. I say I just write about whatever passes through my days---the good, bad and the ugly. Comments welcome and encouraged. Let's get a dialogue going! Jean

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another $100 Day

My new haircut.
Every so often I have what I call a $100 day. It happens when I schedule Levi for an appointment at the doggie foo-foo beauty spa and me for a haircut on the same day, with lunch and shopping in between dropping off my schnauzer and picking him back up again. On the way home we stop at Starbucks where he gets treated to a free pup-a-ccino and I get a caramel macchiato. It all might sound like a yuppie way to spend the day until you picture me driving around with a bag full of poop in my cup holder. I had walked Levi before dropping him off, his first one of 2015, but the park was technically still closed for winter so there were no trash contains available to leave the poop behind. Trust me a plastic bag does not mask all the smells that come from inside and I was afraid to put the bag of poop in the trunk for fear I’d forget about until I found a cop standing next to my car with a search warrant on the suspicion there might be a dead body inside. Could happen if it was summer.

When I picked Levi up one of the “stylists” was shaving a tiger cat into a lion cut. I’d never seen anything like that in my life. The cat was like a bean bag, so relaxed and seemingly unaware that two people were pulling it every which way but off the table as one was shaving it down to the skin. The  pom-poms on its feet and tail already were perfectly shaped and the long hair on its neck and head had already been blow-dried and brushed. Poor pampered baby. Who does that to an animal who loves to groom itself as much as cats do? Now you know why I call the place a foo-foo beauty spa. They are known as the best in town. If it was a clothing store, it would be Macy’s compared to my hair salon which would be J.C. Penny’s. 

The place I had lunch was new to me and is one that specializes in breakfasts. I had seen an interview on local TV about the place and their famous red velvet pancakes. I didn’t order them because I couldn’t bring myself to put that much red dye in my body and risk the gods of chronic hives crying out, “Oh, boy, thank you!” The omelet I had was good but I probably won’t go back because the way the place was set up it didn’t lend itself well for customers to have conversations with one another like a place down the street that I call the Breakfast Only Café or even the Guy-Land Cafeteria. Secret revealed: I don’t go out to lunch just because I’m hungry. Sometimes I just want to hear a human voice that doesn’t come from an electronic devise. 

During my travels through my $100 day I stopped at Lowe’s and ended up with an unexpected tear in my eye. Crap! It was such a simple thing, a split second that changed my good, the-sun-is-shining mood to a sad reminder of the past. A man in my age bracket cut in front of me to get a cart from the cart lineup then he realized what he did and he said, one word---“oops”---and went on his way.  “Oops” was without a doubt the most frequently used word in my husband’s very limited, post-stroke vocabulary. Sometimes it was a one word apology and sometimes it was a one word comical punchline to something someone said. Talk about fifty shades of grey, Don could do fifty of shades of the ‘oops’ word. The sad reminder at Lowe’s didn’t last long; I went directly to the paint department where I picked out some paint chip samples to bring home. I don’t plan to paint anything anytime soon but paint chips are like happy pills in my world. I have two shoe boxes full of them. Crazy, I know, but don’t most people do something that others wouldn’t understand without reading a dissertation on quirky habits?

If I spend enough time in the car, like I do on $100 days, I’m sure to hear a song that has me changing the station with the speed of a crow plucking out an eyeball. Okay, I’ve never seen a crow do that but if it was inclined to disfigure a person I know it could do it pretty fast. Anyway, the song is Garth Brooks’ That Summer. It’s about a eighteen year old who gets a summer job on a ranch and a widow with “leathery skin” who teaches the kid all about sex---you guessed it---that summer. I’ve written about this song before but today it reminded me of a story about widow who lived in my cousin’s neighborhood.

It was a story told by some grown adult men I know who in their younger years were introduced to sex via a line formed outside the widow’s bedroom door where she took them (and others on) one at a time. Boys from twelve to sixteen and they talked about the experience like it was a fun coming-of-age event in their lives. Can you image that happening now? The woman would be sitting in jail and the boys would be testifying in court about how they are scarred for life. What happened to her? Parents got wind of the whole thing, talked to the police but all that happened is parents were told that "boys will be boys" and to keep their kids away from her house. Times sure change.

I don’t know how I can finish off this post so that the ending ties back to the beginning unless I say the widow from my cousin's neighborhood missed her calling. She should have been $100 hooker. ©

16 comments:

  1. There you go again--you might get another warning from Blogger, LOL.
    Poor cat!!! Wished we'd had a widow like that in our town--the boys could have used some learning before we married them, ;-)

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    1. You're right! Bloggers must be run by nuns if they think I'm posting porn. LOL You are too funny...about wanting a widow like that in your hometown, you made me laugh right out loud on that one.

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  2. Yes she should have been a $100.00 hooker.

    I can see where the oops would have been a problem. It's the little things sometimes that trigger the biggest emotion.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to Levi. ☺

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    1. Levi says, thanks.

      It amazes sometimes how memories get triggered.

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  3. I think "oops" must be an especially important word in guys' vocabularies (even when they haven't had strokes). When my mother was 49, she had to have open heart surgery; and when she finally got out of the hospital and was recuperating at home, my father had to change the dressing on her incision. She told me that he could never get through the procedure without saying "oops" at least once! She would think, "I don't want to know that you just screwed this up; can't you just keep quiet about it." I should mention that my mother was very depressed and easily irritated when she was recovering from her surgery. Actually, irritation rather than depression was considered a big sign of progress. The family story is that one day my father brought her supper on a tray and she blew a gasket, "This again! Don't you know how to make anything else?" After she finished reaming him out, my father emerged from the bedroom with a big grin on his face and said to the assembled family members, "Your mother is feeling much better!" :-) -Jean

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    1. Cute "oops" story!

      My mom was sick a lot in her life and when she'd get super sweet then we knew she was really weak and we'd get scared. When she was getting better she'd go through a grouchy stage big time and we'd know she was feeling better and on the mend. Funny how that works. I said I'd never be that way but when I had knee surgery I got pretty crabby with the caregiver I had hired to take care of me and Don for ten days.

      In the last two years I've noticed that I use the 'oops' word in my writing quite often. It really is a great word. LOL

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  4. Oh, dear. I do not like the story of the horny widow. So sad! Much better to think about sweet baby cat and Levi getting the royal treatment. What's this pup-a-ccino he gets at Starbucks???

    I LOVE your haircut. Such a nice sweep to one side.

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    1. I like the haircut, too. You might remember the last time I was in the shop the hairstylist announced that she'd been working to give me a new style (without my knowledge). She said it would take two more cuts to get it to where she wanted it.This was the first month. I think next month it's going to look even better. That's all natural wave with some flat iron straightening involved in the front.

      I still can't believe that cat! They said she's been getting the cut since it was a kitten which is why it was so relaxed.

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    2. Oh, the pup-a-ccino is just a little cup of whipped cream with a tiny milk-bone on top.

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  5. I remember quite a few of us trying to convince you to tell your hairdresser what YOU wanted! Well, I guess she was moving toward what you wanted!
    Paint swatches from Lowe's: I mentioned that I use them to decide colors in a quilt. But I like to look at them because they are usually a combination of three close colors and they are so pleasant to look at. So, I use them as bookmarks!
    And Yes Indeed it is SPRINGTIME here in northern NY. 56 degrees yesterday and it is amazing to see how quickly the snow is melting. Wonderful!
    Regards
    Leze

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    1. I really was shocked when she told she'd been letting my hair grow out but must admit, I like the direction it's going. Can't wait until the next cut when the right side grows out to where she wants it.

      Never thought to use paint chips as bookmarks. That's a great idea.

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  6. I have a thing for paint chips, too. I keep mine in a folder in the file cabinet.

    Love the widow story. I remember you mentioning "That Summer" in a previous post.

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    1. if you liked the short version of the widow introduces the boys to sex, you would really loved hearing the cousins sitting around talking about the widow story.

      I had to look up the song story to make sure I didn't write the same thing about it this time. I really hate that song.

      Three confessed paint chip squirrels on one blog, who would have guessed that. LOL

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  8. Arianda, I sent you an email.

    Anyone reading this who is interested in stroke related aphasia, I hope you'll click on her name above and check out her website.

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